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Children’s book alert – A ladybug’s dream adventures


In the tradition of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, a book so much fun kids hardly realize they’re learning about the life cycle of a bug while they read it again and again, here comes “Ladybug and the Awesome Bug Book Adventure” by Bret Syfert, a native Philadelphian now living in London. With its collage of cartoon characters and lush imagery made from photographic collages, the book weaves together a bug’s adventure and a boy’s dream into something educational about bugs in general (only female mosquitoes drink blood; males drink plant juice, etc) and very sweet.

From Bret Syfert’s Ladybug book, the boy sleeps, drools, and has a nice educational dream.

Ladybug, the explorer hero/heroine (kind of gender-ambiguous although if it’s a girl, she’s a tomboy, er, bug) wears aviator goggles and hat while telling you about, in some cases, a little too much (that spiders liquify the innards of their prey and suck it out–I’m pretty sure I for one could have lived without that information.)

Did you know ladybugs eat aphids? Just something I picked up from this book.

The illustrations are great. They collage swatches of cloth, close-ups of paintings, and paper, drawings, and extreme close-ups of walls, grass and plants. The jumble of textures fosters a sense of a world of discombobulation, a kind of 21st century Photoshop-layers Alice in Wonderland.  And for an added bit of excitement, there’s also a flip-book image in the lower right corner of each page — it shows a ladybug doing a dance.

The collage textures of this book are outstanding, as here, with strips of cloth or paper painted over to portray the setting sun

Bret’s website has a downloadable version of the book.  There’s a nice streaming video of the artist reading the book out loud while the pages turn.  And of course you can buy a copy of the book, which the artist will decorate for you with a special drawing/message.

Here’s his blog and here’s his flickr set with more pictures of his illustrations.

Bret helped us out on a book project some years back, designing and producing 100 “OK Artist” books in hand-stitched boxes.  Here’s his 58 second video about making the book.  Note the dance-rhythm music.  In addition to his book and illustration talents, Bret is a B-Boy (break dancer).


book reviews, bret syfert, children's book, ladybug and the awesome bug book adventure